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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:17 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Narrogin Western Australia (Twilight Zone)
Big Dave asked "What is the killing cone method stretchman?" in another thread and seeing as I haven't seen a thread on processing poultry I figured I will share how I do this.

Firstly, I believe when killing an animal it should be done with some sense of respect for that animal, whether bird, mammal or fish. It is a primal respect, and while I don't dance around chanting and calling on spirits I do think about how this animal is being used to provide for myself and my family. If I am culling the bird I do it quickly and as humanely as possible.

Three ways of dispatching a bird that I have tried are the axe, the neck stretch and the killing cone. Each way has its supporters, and done properly each is effective.

After experimenting with each I settled on the killing cone. The cone is just a traffic cone, actually two cones one large for ducks and large chooks and a smaller cone that I use for smaller chooks. When the traffic cones are brought home slight modifications are needed. The end (point) of the cone, even if open will probably be too small to allow the head and neck of the bird to be pushed through. Using a saw start taking off 5-10mm until the hole is just large enough to allow the head through. A tighter hole is better.

Next we need a frame to hang the cone from and to hang the birds from to bleed out. I used three crossmembers of a Hills Hoist to construct two uprights and a cross piece wired together with fence wire. You can make this as fancy or as simple as you want/need. Mine is a temporary job, one that I have used for the past 10 years! Fix a piece of timber (just a scrap thick enough to screw into) to the cross piece. Suspend the cone firmly from the frame at one end. Next we need something to hang the birds to bleed out. Commercial processors use something like this:

Hanging Frame.jpg
Hanging Frame.jpg [ 175.84 KiB | Viewed 7352 times ]

Using some hard fencing wire simply bend wire into a W shape with "eyes" at the ends to facilitate screwing into the timber. I have room for four hangers and the cone on my setup. A small bucket (I reuse a salad mix container from the local supermarket and chuck it out when finished) under the cone to catch the blood. I also set up the frame in the vegie patch if possible to ensure any blood is dug back into the soil and not wasted.

Step1 completed!

Next get everything ready you will need so that once you start it will be a non stop production line. You will need at least 10 litres of water at about 65°C-75°C in a vessel that the bird will fit into. If ducks are the task at hand add a squirt of washing up liquid so the water will be able to penetrate through the feathers. I get my plucker out, a tub for the feathers and trays for the plucked birds. I also get my knives. I use a VERY sharp boning knife for most of the task. Have the knife somewhere convenient (arms distance) and safe near the killing point. We also need a bucket with a plastic bag for the guts, a bowl for the offal and a bin bag for the feathers. Be prepared. I reckon it is better to have more than enough of equipment and put stuff away unused than be running around looking for stuff you needed. Inside I have my chopping boards set up in the laundry and a bag of ice in the freezer if it is a warm day.

Now we get messy!

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